October 27, 2021–11:00 a.m.
CITY OF ROME (DOUG WALKER)
Rome Police Chief Denise Downer McKinney formally signed documents Tuesday to become partners with the U.S. military Partnership for Youth Success (PAYS) to offer young men and women who have served in the military an opportunity for a post-service career with the Rome Police.
Lt. Col. David Hensel with the U.S. Army told a crowd at the Joint Law Enforcement Center in Rome that the community sends its young men and women into the military and “we send them back to you better than they were before.”
The program guarantees young service members at least five job interviews after their hitch in the military has been completed.
Chief Downer McKinney said that the Rome Police have hired a number of honorably discharged veterans over her 30+ years with the agency, stating that the veterans share many of the same values of “loyalty, duty, respect, trust, and honor.”
She said that given the current shortage of officers the PAYS program was a great opportunity to have an additional recruiting resource going forward.
As part of the ceremony, four young recruits took their service oath including Justine Gladney of Summerville, Bryan Carter and his twin brother Jonathan Carter of Cedartown, and Rodney Cammon of Rome.
State Representative Katie Dempsey (R-Rome) told the young recruits that she hoped that the partnership might one day bring each of them back to Rome for service to the community.